Tonight was my older daughter’s senior Christmas concert. Unbelievably, the kids tackled the very difficult “He Shall Purify” piece from the Messiah, full of melismatic passages that take the vocal chords on a serious obstacle course through the music staff.

I’m so proud of my daughter.

I love to watch the young faces of high school kids on stage. Peachy skin… healthy hair… beginning to show their own style and sense of confidence… their whole lives ahead of them. I can guess a lot about a personality from the body language and posture of a young choir member. Some will glide through college. Some will struggle to find jobs after Spring graduation. Some will be popular. Some will quietly become famous while no one is watching.

I remember my daughter’s early concerts, and I see such a change in her between then and now. Tonight, she said she was tempted to miss the concert to attend an important meeting, but she knew that they (the choir) needed her, and she realized this was her last high school Christmas concert. She has a beautiful, pure, First Soprano voice and doesn’t try to be the star, but she recognizes her own talent and knows she contributes to the whole.

The only rule was to wear black. What an opportunity for self-expression! But together, unified in color and in song, they made up the most amazing group. They each brought something different to the stage, and yet, they were one.

At the end, in keeping with the school’s tradition, they sang the “Hallelujah” chorus and invited anyone who knows it to join the choir in front. I obliged happily. There is simply nothing like lifting up that song en masse at Christmas time. So emotional – so powerful. Handel was a musical genius.



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